Are amazing wedding photos one of your top 3 most important items for your wedding? Do you want photos to make your friends envious or make your Grandmother cry? Do you want your Photographer to be inspired? Would you like to look back and only remember having fun at your wedding?
As an experienced wedding photographer, I’m there with you all day. I see the overall flow, the reality, the behind the scenes stuff. Not to mention that some locations are terrible for pictures, yet beautiful for guests. Ask me why and I’ll tell you (for a small fee, I’ll consult any prospective couple).
A Wedding Photographer‘s tips for amazing wedding photos:
1. Hire your Wedding Photographer before you pick your wedding ceremony and reception venues
As someone who has photographed multiple weddings at Hurd Orchards, weddings at Artisan Works, weddings at Casa Larga Vineyards, weddings at Plantation Party House, weddings at the Lower Mill / Rabbit Room, weddings at Bristol Harbour, weddings at Canandaigua Inn on the Lake… you get the idea…. so what does this mean?
What it means is that I’ve worked many places more than once and I’ve worked many places only once. I also work at more than one wedding venue. This gives me insight into the customer service, guest experience, food experience, lighting options, photography options and timeline logistics of your wedding location. Would you like to know who has the best view at dusk? Want to know who can’t get the food served in a timely fashion? Would it help to know if I need my 20 years of photographic skill (and all of my gear)? Ask me.
Some wedding venues are beautiful for a guest and completely suck for a photographer. Yes, I just said that.
2. Make time to create magic
Though I’m known for working fast and under short timelines, you should schedule in just a little time for me to create art with you. Most of the day I’m checking off a magic list of images I know Grandma will kill me for not capturing (and to fill the wedding album). Not to mention hairdo malfunctions, lost Groomsmen, limo drivers who have NO idea where we are going and sunset hitting during the toasts.
Planning for all of these things helps leave a little wiggle room for me to steal you away during dinner for a killer romantic sunset or for you to have a few minutes with Dad before you walk down the aisle. Some things are quick grab shots as they are happening and other times, I need to get you away from the whirl wind of the day so you two can be alone together for 15 minutes before you rejoin the action.
It’s not just about the two of you either. Having some time before the ceremony isn’t just about your dress hanging lifeless in a room. For me, ‘getting ready’ is about relaxing with your closest family and friends and documenting what goes into making you look your best.
3. Step away from Pinterest
Obviously, I love Pinterest. It is a visual storm of ideas. Yet, not all of the ideas will fit you, your wedding, your location or your wedding photographer. Hopefully you hired your wedding photographer for a reason other than price or your relation/friendship. Spend time on your photographer’s website. See how THEY capture the rings, dress, groomsmen, etc.
Nothing KILLS my creativity more than you asking me to take the same boring wedding photos I’ve seen for 10 years (or 30, as Rochester weddings tend to be). Though this is the only wedding you’ve had (hopefully), it isn’t my first wedding. For me personally, I get more creative feeding off of your natural energy that day. the natural dynamics. the natural way you pose yourself. the natural way you look at your honey.
The weddings where I had a true and authentic carte blanche to do WHATEVER… those weddings are the ones, start to finish, that were my best. Everything clicked. Everything worked out as planned. Everything got done. and a LOT of gems were found because I was free to find them.
4. Prep your Bridal Party and family
Let your family and bridal party know why you hired your Photographer. Are they traditional? funky? photojournalistic? a newbie (who might actually need some ideas/tips)? For me, I need them to know that you hired a documentarian and that they should IGNORE me unless I ask them to do something.
And I need them to be ON time. For McKay’s Photography weddings, we work quickly and on a short schedule. So, if I need them ready at 2 pm, I need them READY at 2 pm.
5. Feed and water your Photographer
The Videographer, Photographer and sometimes the band/DJ are with you for a full day. Please be sure to count us as guests and make a seat for us at your reception (complete with name card – so we can hold our seat because we are rarely sitting there and your guests take over).
The reception location usually puts us in another room or doesn’t think about us. If the DJ and myself are eating in another room (usually after your guests have finished), then we are not able to keep tabs on what is happening in your room (music repeating/skipping, kids busting out on the dance floor, etc). Added bonus: I get to know your guests and find out insider information. Example: one wedding I found out that Grandma and her 10 kids (all over 60 yrs old!) were in attendance! Um, that’s an important picture that the Bride & Groom didn’t mention.
What are your top 5 tips for amazing wedding photos??
Comment below and share with the world…